ELECTION 2016

November 7th, 2016

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Bassnectar - Unlimited - June 17 OK… I realize that the entire topic of politics is so annoying, and so polarizing. I understand that. But I want to throw in my two cents.

If you don’t like politics, or don’t care about my opinion, just simply stop reading now, and go find something you enjoy… and enjoy it 🙂

If you are curious about what I think, then read on:

1. We have a two-party system, and that sucks. It usually means we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, and rarely do we get to throw our enthusiasm behind an AMAZING candidate who we really love and believe in. In tomorrow’s election, I am voting for Hillary Clinton because I want to STOP Donald Trump. Not because I like Clinton (i don’t) but because Donal Trump is frighteningly unstable, deeply racist, and lacks the experience to be in control of our country. Despite politics as usual: votes do matter, and you can make a difference. If you don’t believe that, look at this report: https://mic.com/articles/125344/if-anyone-ever-tells-you-your-vote-doesn-t-matter-show-them-this#.s2aHsUqEL Turnout determines who elected representatives reflect the will of their constituents. Studies show that policymakers are most responsive to the interests of individuals who live in districts with high level of turnout. And supporting your preferred candidates in local city/state elections is the best way to affect change in your community, and to invest in the possibility of better Presidential candidates down the line.

2. This is a gross over-simplification, but *IN GENERAL* the difference between our two main political parties is that The Republicans favor the elite super wealthiest 1%, and The Democrats favor the majority [the middle class]. In general, the Republicans are the more corrupt and dishonest of the two parties because they traditionally serve the super-rich, corporate interests, and lobbyists, while PRETENDING to represent the middle class (whose votes they need – the fact that they try so hard to trick the middle class is proof that voting matters). They PRETEND to fight for the people, but they are anti-civil liberties, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay rights, anti-environment, anti-basic gun safety regulation, pro-corporate lobby, pro-1% wealthy elite. They lie and obstruct to deceive and deflect, all so they can serve the corporate interests who own them. (Here’s a look at Republican vs Democrat fundraising sources) And while the Democrats suck too – there are plenty of inept or corrupt Democrats, of course – in general the Democratic Party serves THE MAJORITY and they favor the general needs of the people: citizens and workers OVER corporate bias. So in broad terms, a Democratic vote is for “the general well-being of the country”.

For example, Trump tells his followers (mostly uneducated, disaffected white voters) that Clinton is going to raise taxes on them, when the opposite is true: Trump’s plan cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans, while Clinton’s plan RAISES taxes on the wealthiest, in order to cut taxes for the middle class. According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, the top 1% would pay for roughly three-quarters of Mrs Clinton’s tax increases which address income inequality through increased taxes on the wealthy. BUT UNDER TRUMP according to an analysis by Conservative group the Tax Foundation, the top 1% of earners would see their income increase by double-digits as part of plan that would cost the US government roughly $6 billion in revenue, while the bottom quarter of the population gets a boost of just 1.9%. (You can use this calculator to see how tax policy changes would affect you: http://tpc-election-calculator.urban.org/) So if you believe that the country benefits more when politicians act in the interests of the majority, rather than adopting the convenient lie of “trickle down” economics, then the choice between the two parties is clear. Vote Republican if you want to keep wealth in the hands of the wealthiest 1%, and vote Democrat if you want the government to work in favor of the majority.

3. I will be the first to say that I don’t love Hillary Clinton. I feel she is a typical politician, and in addition to making mistakes it’s likely she has made some sketchy backroom deals here or there, just like EVERY politician. But I think she genuinely does CARE about what she is doing, and her general approach is to represent the majority, to bring cohesion to the nation, to support families and civil rights, and to improve and strengthen the country. Most of Trump’s critiques about Obama or Hillary that have any basis in reality are actually critiques about the morbid state of affairs which the Republican Bush administration left us in – like illegal wars, and a staggering debt which climaxed in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Obama’s team has been digging us out of this, constantly obstructed by the Republican Congress. (So when Trump critiques Obama or Clinton for this, he knows he is being deceitful, but he is like a dictator or king who wants absolute power, no transparency, and will fight dirty to the end.) I dislike Hillary Clinton, but she is infinitely better for our country, for you, and for your family than Donald Trump… unless you are a racist billionaire, then Trump likely has your back.

4. Donald Trump is such a blatant cartoonish egomaniac: he is a racist, hateful, self-righteous, hypocritical, deceitful jabroni who behaves like a spoiled child and lies pathologically. (In any fact check exercise, Trump’s “mistruths” outstrip Clinton multiple times over – e.g. http://www.npr.org/2016/09/26/495115346/fact-check-first-presidential-debate – read that! It’s NPR…if you have a relative who is duped by Trump, read that to them.) He is turning the American people against each other across any line or divide he can leverage: economic, social, racial, religious, gender etc. He brings out the worst in his supporters, appealing to their deepest fears and misgivings, so he can fan the flames of any hatred he can stoke and use it to benefit his own cause: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/us/politics/hate-crimes-american-muslims-rise.html (Meanwhile, his stump speeches have been used in ISIS propaganda videos because they are such effective recruitment tools, painting our country as a hateful nation bent on war against Islam.) He undermines the strength of our democratic system, echoes fringe conspiracy rantings, is willfully ignorant of science and climate change and has a woeful understanding of global affairs. He does not know how to behave, he cannot control himself, he is brash and loud and insecure, and the team he has around him are the lowest of the low and the worst of the worst: scheming media moguls and tyrants, liars and hypocrites, awful power-hungry people like Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and Roger Ailes. They are on a warpath to seize control of this very powerful nation, and seek to tear down the existing power structure simply for the purpose of gaining more power for themselves, like a virus. Hillary is annoying and not the best candidate in the world, but she will maintain the strength and independence of America, and work to better the lives of the general population.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria put it well: even if you disagreed politically with previous Republican presidential candidates, they were at least honorable men who would have served their country well. Donald Trump is different, and not just because he is an obnoxious blowhard with no tact or taste, or that “his business dealings show him to be a scam artist”. He is different because of his beliefs. Look beyond his policy issues, which are either superficial soundbites and/or pay lip service to Republican hot button topics – those are just “reflections of what he thinks he wants his supporters to hear”. Instead, look at his background and his record for an understanding of his true values and instincts. He has a history of racism (see his years as a property developer and his treatment of the Central Park Five) and he wholeheartedly believes in ethnic stereotypes that divide our country. He has always been a protectionist, quick to tell Americans facing economic hardship that foreigners are to blame for their problems. He has done countless things over his decades in the public eye that confirm his demeaning view of women, from his sexist statements in interviews, behavior during his ownership of the Miss Universe pageant, descriptions of working women and female candidates – and that’s before you consider the multiple allegations of sexual assault and the fact that he has been caught on tape bragging about getting away with groping women because he’s rich and famous. And he shows brazen contempt for the foundations of democracy, from banning Muslims from entering the country, inciting violence at his rallies, and threatening to jail his opponent if elected. “Donald Trump is not a normal candidate. He is a cancer on American democracy,” Zakaria concluded. “And that is why I will vote against him next Tuesday.” http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/06/opinions/fareeds-take-on-trump/index.html

The prospect of a Trump presidency is so absurdly inappropriate, it’s best summed up in this quote from comedian Seth Myers:
“Americans just don’t love the two choices.
Do you pick someone who is under federal investigation for using a private emails server?
Or do you pick someone who…
Called Mexicans rapists
Claims the President was born in Kenya
Proposed banning an entire religion from entering the US
Mocked a disabled reporter
Said John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured
Attacked the parents of a fallen soldier
Bragged about committing sexual assault
Was accused of 12 women of committing sexual assault
Said some of those women weren’t attractive enough for him sexually assault
Said more countries should get nukes
Said he would force the military to commit war crimes
Said a judge was biased because his parents were Mexicans
Said women should be punished for having abortions
Incited violence at his rallies
Calling global warming a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese
Called for his opponent to be jailed
Declared bankruptcy six times
Bragged about not paying income taxes
Stiffed his contractors and employees
Lost $1 billion in 1 year
Scammed customers at his fake university
Bought a 6ft tall painting of himself with money from his fake foundation
Has a trial for fraud coming up in November
Insulted his opponents looks
Insulted his opponents wife’s looks
And bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy”
How do you choose?”

Comedy aside, here is a careful comparison of the candidates on the issues that matter:
http://www.npr.org/2016/10/18/496926243/from-the-economy-to-race-see-where-the-candidates-stand-on-the-big-issues

5. Lastly, even if you chose NOT to vote for a president, you can at least vote on local initiatives, support propositions you believe in, and elect Democratic members of the House & Senate. Congress has the ability to obstruct and even STOP the President from doing what he/she wants, and prevent them from acting on behalf of voters to do what’s in our best interests. (The Republicans have done this blatantly; time and time again obstructing like spoiled children who break their toys so no other kids can play with them. Over the last eight years Obama has been forced to deal with obstruction at every turn, in part so the Republicans can criticize him and say “look how bad it is under Obama… look how nothing got done”. Mitch McConnell said that the Republican’s top priority was blocking Obama on all fronts and they did this no matter the issue, no matter the cost to the country. With a Democrat in the White House, Republican Congress will continue obstructing the common good in their quest for power.

There are 12 close Senate races, and if Democrats can win 5 of them, then they win back control of the Senate. Many of these candidates are progressives who have been fighting to raise the minimum wage, expanded social security, provide paid sick and parental leave. Several are women or people of color who will bring more representation to the (non)mixture of people serving on the Senate. They will approve nominees for the Supreme Courts who will fight for the rights of average Americans instead of corporate interests. Senate oversight will be in the hands of people who actually want government to work! They will fight to get money out of politics, reduce wealth inequality, confront climate change, and push for a progressive foreign policy. And it would greatly strengthen the progressive movement, adding to the ranks of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Here’s a great video from Move On if we want a partisan Democratic argument for the importance of having Hilary in White House and Democrat control of Senate.

Bottom line: we can’t let this ignorant, self-centered sociopath become President, and we have to try and improve the stalemate in Washington so that we can see progress in our country. And no matter how jaded you are about the presidential race, if you want to see change on a local level, and empower other politicians so you have better Presidential choices in the years ahead, you MUST participate in local elections. Get out and vote!

*** BTW early voting is already underway in most states. Click here to see if early voting is available where you live: http://bit.ly/earlyvote16 ***

Putting together words and facts like this is difficult… in 4 years it will feel very awkward to know I actually ADVOCATED for someone like Hillary Clinton [cringe] …because I do seriously not trust her or care about her as a candidate. Instead I see her as THE BEST CHANCE TO STOP TRUMP’S HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. So I think it is important to urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

L

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